Does US have the right to prevent China's peaceful rise?

By Liu Yan Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/30 21:53:54

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The US' overall suppression of China, through economic sanctions, technological crackdown, and military coercion, is aimed at blocking China's development and securing the US' supreme position. A lingering question in the West, particularly in the US, is if it is already too late to prevent China's rise. 

China's fast development in recent decades caught the US off guard. A supersized society with a completely different political system is on the path to becoming an economy on par with the US. It is an unprecedented challenge, economic and political, to American elites. What Washington hawks are doing now is trying to block China's development as much as possible.

While it may be a question in Washington whether it is too late to block China's rise, it is a legitimate question in China whether the US has the right to do so. Washington has launched reckless offensives against China, all the more intensified since US President Donald Trump assumed office in January 2017, on the excuse of national security and stopping China's economic and military expansion. 

China sticks to peaceful development and pursues win-win growth. Unlike Western imperialist countries that realized primitive accumulation through plunder, war and colonialization, Chinese people have strived to improve their lives with hard work and cooperation. China has not fought a war in more than three decades. The Chinese are committed to peaceful development and have no interest in seeking world hegemony.

Despite China being the world's No.2 economy, per capita GDP of the country ranks 65 globally, behind countries such as Mauritius. China has set a goal of eradicating absolute poverty by the end of this year. Behind glamorous downtown scenes in top-tier cities, economic growth remains a daunting challenge for central and local governments. When China was a poor country with its people haunted by hunger, Western developed countries accused China of being an uncertain factor that posed a risk of exporting turbulence abroad. Now as China has gradually solved the problem of feeding its huge population, the West tries hard to stop Chinese people from improving their lives. It is a ridiculous mind-set that implies only Westerners, especially Americans, deserve the right to live better.

Another question is whether it is possible to prevent China's rise. The Trump administration launched an overall trade war with China two years ago, accusing China of taking advantage of the US through unfair trade. But in the past two years, the idea of certain American elites to suppress China's development is proven to be impractical. 

The attempt to decouple from China has met resistance too. The fundamental reason is that China's business ties with the US are mutually beneficial. Washington's plan to rope in its allies to form an anti-China united front based on ideological differences has largely failed to realize.

Rather than incite instability within China, Washington's unreasonable crackdown has strengthened Chinese society's solidarity. Jointly facing up to US suppression has been the consensus of Chinese people as they are fully aware China must fight for its legitimate rights, instead of seeking a truce through making concessions. 

To the US and the West, the real question is not about whether it is too late to prevent China's rise, it is about how they deal with their development model that is increasingly unfit for today's world. 

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